Director of Communications
May 24, 2017
The Trump Budget Is a Travesty
Newly released budget would decimate Medicaid, cripple funding for the fight against HIV, hepatitis C, and STDs, and harm our most vulnerable populations
APLA Health condemns the newly released 2018 Trump Administration budget, which would decimate Medicaid, reduce funding for the Ryan White Program and global AIDS, and slash a broad range of other safety net programs that sustain the health and well-being of underserved populations across the country.
Most alarming, the proposed budget mandates a $627 billion cut in Medicaid funding over the next 10 years. Coupled with another $880 billion reduction in the Republicans’ proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid funding would be reduced by more than $1.5 trillion.
“These cuts to the Medicaid program are unprecedented,” APLA Health CEO Craig E. Thompson says. “They would undermine the nation’s premier program for low-income health, and leave APLA Health and other community health centers struggling to serve a growing population with nowhere else to turn except the nation’s emergency rooms.”
The Trump budget also calls for $59 million in cuts to the Ryan White Program that would wipe out the national AIDS education and training centers as well as funding for special projects of national significance. The Ryan White Program is critical for people living with HIV. Approximately 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV every year, and people with the virus are living longer thanks to better medications. If the ACA is repealed, more individuals would have to rely on the Ryan White Program for life-saving care.
The budget sharply reduces funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative; slashes HIV, hepatitis, and STD prevention funding by $186 million; and cuts over $1 billion from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other global AIDS programs, which could result in the deaths of 1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade, according to The New York Times. It also includes steep cuts to or the elimination of food stamps, Meals on Wheels, Social Security Disability Insurance, low-income home-heating assistance, and more—all the while delivering enormous tax relief to the wealthy.
“The budget reveals an Administration that is breathtakingly callous,” Thompson says. “It is woefully short-sighted about cost-effective programs and services that provide health care for those who most need it, as well as prevention education, treatment, and support services to vulnerable populations at home and abroad.
“This Administration talks about improving the health and welfare of all Americans, and then proposes to viciously cut funding for those who need resources to thrive,” Thompson adds. “This budget is a disgrace. We urge everyone to contact their congressional representatives and tell them to reject it.”
APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 14 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at aplahealth.org.